Tuesday, August 09, 2011
My friend Brenda has cancer. She has been handed her life back to her with a horrific diagnosis, several treatment plans and scripts for her pain management. Within a matter of weeks her life has been turned on its axis by the awful realization of just how finite her life really is.
She had previously quit a long smoking habit and started eating healthy for the last half of her life. I laughed when I heard she had joined a fitness club since I swear if there was a strong enough wind she would have blow off to Kansas. Her tiny frame would have been dwarfed by the exercise equipment alone not to mention her genetic predisposition to klutziness would have guaranteed bruising in places she never knew existed. Getting fit was her goal and as the stubborn old fool I know her to be, she would have succeeded if this had not stopped her in her tracks.
She is the Louise to my Thelma. We have gone through many things and I just don't know what to do for her right now. I am shattered by her pain and my heart aches for her fear. I have my faith and I hope I can cloak her with me in it's embrace if she will let me. I will talk and listen and do whatever I can, but I cannot begin to imagine how she feels right now.
But Brenda, the crazy, tiny, fireball that she is, had the courage to read some material that was provided to her in her new cancer care package and she zeroed in on dog training in relation to cancer. She found that there is an organization that trains dogs to detect the smell of cancer for early diagnosis and treatment. She called them.
She found out that in order to train the dogs, they needed tissue samples from a person with ongoing cancer before the start of treatment. Since she starts her treatments next week she took that small window of opportunity and invited them to take what they needed. They were on their way over yesterday when I talked to her. I held it together until I got off the phone then thanked God for Brenda.
My courageous friend wanted to contribute somehow to help train these dogs for cancer detection in hopes that she can save others from the terrible ravages of this disease. She is taking a stand and making lemon pie with her lemons.
There are no words to describe how I feel with her take charge attitude. When she should be resting and gaining her strength for the Hellacious fight ahead, she chose to do something good while she had the chance.
You often hear the words courage and cancer in the same sentence. I understand now... I see Brenda and I see courage.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I just know I am right. I am sure of it.
You ever have these conversations in your head where you argue with someone (significant or not) and you get your points across with tack and diplomacy?
Where you are calm and cool under pressure and you are able to stay focused on the point at hand?
Where you have used your "listening" tools beautifully and can express your [insert emotion here] with grace and perhaps a touch of dramatic flair for emphasis?
Where you know you are the injured party, have the right be be annoyed, pissed, hurt and yet you disarm the argument with skill and mutual respect?
You see, this happens in my head, all the time.
I am wonderfully fair, never use foul language and never resort to name calling and "so there"s.
In my head, I am right and can present myself beautifully.
In my head, I am quick to respond and can even soften the tone of the argument with a wee bit of cajoling and expertly placed humour.
But... something happens when I open my mouth. It all falls out. In a mess. All jumbled up and there I stand with my face all screwed up in a not so flattering pout tinged with some pretty ugly scowling and puffy eyes to boot.
I know I am right... but somehow it comes out all wrong.
I need chocolate.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I am reading a Scientific American magazine and it talks about the support system in losing weight and how beneficial it is, be it in person or online. That calorie tracking programs, exercise journals etc. are good behavior modification tools geared towards success. And I thought to myself, yeah, yeah, yeah.... I have heard it all before.
Well when I sat and thought about it, I actually found that not only is this true, I actually managed to incorporate this behaviour modification process in my own life. Since I have been here on Sparks and talking with friends that I have met here, I have been more aware of what I eat and how much. Though I haven't' lost much more weight over the last couple of years, I have not regained the originally 55 that I lost. So even though I have not been as committed as I could be, I have modified my behavior by holding myself accountable, here and am in fact a bit more in control than I though.
I not only think before I scoop another helping, I plan my fast food treats and no longer deny myself a particular food, just to lose weight. My mouth waters for fresh fruit. The veggie isles in the stores are where I spend most of my time. The farmers markets in the summer are like a candy store.
Well who knew that after a few years of working it... not working it,...and working it again, I managed to modify my behaviour so much that I don't even think about it anymore. I don't starve myself... I am just too crabby for that nonsense. I don't purge anymore... thats a BIG win, and even when I am eating a bag of cookies, I can actually portion them for myself.
Hells Bells... how did I not see this sooner? Well I have to say, that's a real pick me up no matter how I spin it. I may actually win this battle.
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